Guinea Pig Care Illnesses and Diseases: Prevention and Treatment Tips for Owners

Guinea pigs are adorable little creatures and great family pets, but they can be prone to a number of different illnesses and diseases.

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From feeding newborn pets to caring them as they get older, looking after your guinea pig involves have a reasonable level of understanding as to what you can do to prevent or treat a variety of issues that they might be affected by.

Family unit or solo – can make a difference

If you choose to keep a single guinea pig or prefer to have a group of them to keep each other company as well as enjoying your social interaction, this will make a difference to the sort of illnesses and diseases that they are more likely to suffer from.

You will often find that infectious diseases like various strains of a virus or bacteria are more common when you keep more than one guinea pig. When you just have the one pet, it does leave them more susceptible to issues like reproductive disorders, dental disease and various problems that result through aging.

All guinea pigs are vulnerable to disease and illnesses at some level, regardless of whether they live alone or in a group, but you need to try and keep an eye on their health as they can develop complications quite quickly, especially as they get older.

Prevention better than cure

Guinea pigs do not often cope well with illness or diseases and there is no doubt that prevention of health problems through proactive care and assessment, is much better than trying to put them back on the mend.

Many guinea pigs are likely to become stressed when they become ill and although you may think that you are being kind and caring by holding it, you are often better leaving them alone so that they don’t get any more stressed than they already are.

One of the big problems with treating guinea pigs is that they don’t always respond well to antibiotics, which can give them problems in their digestive tract. If your guinea pig does have to take some antibiotics on veterinary advice, it can develop side-effects such as dehydration, diarrhea, loss of appetite and drop in their body temperature.

Improper diet

Your guinea pig can easily suffer from a digestive disorder if they are fed an improper diet.

Make sure that they get a reasonable amount of roughage in their diet and keep a check on the level of grains and sugars they are consuming, especially when they are showing signs of suffering from diarrhea.

Access to a regular supply of clean water is always important and be vigilant about removing any uneaten food, as this will help to prevent them from developing an infection.

The best advice for keeping your pet guinea pig as healthy as possible and to allow them to enjoy a long and happy life, is to care for them by cleaning their bed regularly, feeding them correctly, and keeping an eye out for any signs of distress or illness.

Nicole Forney works as a veterinary assistant and loves going to work every day to cuddle the critters! She has picked up a wealth of knowledge through her job and likes to education pet owners on the best care of their animals through her articles.

Too Much, Too Soon: Raising Children to Be Alcohol-Aware Adults

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Your child is getting old enough to be curious about drinking. And, while it’s OK to be curious, it’s not OK to use and abuse alcohol. Here’s how to get children to be alcohol-aware.

Don’t Be Afraid To Say No

Most parents are afraid to say “no” to their child these days. But, this negative reaction we might experience from our own friends and others (especially during special occasions like Christmas or graduation) is unfounded — especially when it prevents us from doing what we know is right.

Teen drinking and driving is a leading cause of death in the U.S., according to car accident attorney, Ckflaw.com. If your teen is of legal driving age, it’s especially important to put your foot down before it becomes an issue.

If your child is not driving age, it’s still important to hammer home the importance of not drinking before the legal age.

If your child is feeling peer pressure, let them know that they have a person to turn to: you.

Encourage Participation In Alcohol and Drug-Free Programs

Your child might be hanging out with the “wrong crowd.” But, you can encourage them to hang out with the right crowd by finding out what afterschool programs there are that keep them away from alcohol and drugs. If the majority of your kid’s friends are drinking alcohol and using drugs to get high, then there’s a huge incentive for you to help your child get out and away from that group of people.

Connect Them With Responsible Adults

As your child grows up, they should have easy access to adults who are responsible and capable of being good role models. If your child is struggling to figure out whom they can trust, start by being a role model yourself. They can benefit from your life’s experiences.

You can also flip this around and take them to a drug and alcohol rehab center to show them what it’s like to ruin your life with drugs and alcohol. Introduce them to people in rehab, and let those people share their stories. That’s a real-life example of the results of alcohol abuse.

Educate Your Child

Sometimes, children drink because they’re bored, and because they don’t know much about alcohol and its effects. Educate them about it, and teach them the negative consequences of drinking and abusing alcohol. You don’t necessarily want to make drinking a negative thing. But, you do want to emphasize the responsibility that comes with drinking alcohol.

And, you also want to point out that developing brains, like theirs, do not handle alcohol very well. It can cause permanent brain damage.

Get Help

If you already suspect that your teen is drinking, you might need professional help from other parents who’ve been through it, or from a professional counselor. A professional might be able to talk with your child and help them through it. He or she might even be able to convince them that drinking is a bad idea right now.

Morgan Sharpe works closely with schools, giving talks to teens about alcohol. She believes that education is key, being honest and open with teens and acknowledging that they will try alcohol; the key being to get them to limit that intake in a safe environment.

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When Less is Best: Surprising Benefits of Living the Frugal Life

The term ‘frugal’ sometimes comes with negative connotations.  However, it’s just a word; what it represents and what it can do for you is much more important.  Many people find that living the frugal life makes them happier and presents them with more time.  Sometimes, less is more, so here are a number of ways that being frugal can be a blessing.

Less Trash

Having less stuff means less trash.  By buying less, and reusing the things you have, you’re creating less excess, which is a positive for the environment.  Think of it in regards to a person who is succinct versus one who is verbose in proving the same point.  The former party uses less words yet can achieve the same effect, which saves the speaker and listener time and effort.

Less Stress

Buying less means having more money in the bank, which means less stress for most people.  When you’re a regular consumer, you spend more, which means you have less of a nest egg in the bank.  That may be fine for those who are making a lot of money.

But most of us are not surgeons or Wall Street stock brokers.  We are likely to want the same things but have less money for them.  For example, we may want to buy a new car because the seats are worn, yet buying a set of seat covers from www.shearcomfort.com is cheaper and solves the problem too.

More Focus

Those who care less about commodities and material possessions have more time to focus on things that matter, such as good health and time with family and friends.  Those who are truly happy seldom need material things to continue their state of well being.

Being happy comes from within, and while it can be immediately enjoyable to consume and enjoy material possessions, focusing on what really matters is the path to long term happiness.

More Community

Those who are not preoccupied with buying and possessing are more likely to give things away to others, especially those who may not have the means to buy needs.  Having less things and more time to focus outward is better for the surrounding community.  Plenty of people need help, and those who are not preoccupied with their own wants are better able to identify the people who are truly in need.

More Years

Who wants to work?  While some people are lucky enough to make money doing what they love, most people are working to make a living.  Even those who can say they love their jobs probably don’t get to make their own hours, take vacations whenever they want, and don’t want go to work every day.

Those who live below their means don’t have to worry about saving for retirement and can retire earlier, so they can truly live each day how they would like.  Those who love work don’t have to stop altogether, but can work on their own time, which is much different from ‘working for a living.’

More Awareness

It takes curiosity and awareness to become frugal.  You have to reverse engineer a number of things you do each day, which leads to insights about yourself and human nature.  For example, many people get in the habit of buying more food than they need whether they leave food on their plate at a restaurant or wind up discarding a number of bought grocery items.

An aware person may order an appetizer versus a meal at a restaurant or only buy items they immediately need at the grocery store.  Being frugal is not being ‘cheap,’ but a new perspective on life.  Being cheap means not wanting to spend money; being frugal means growing aware of having things that you really need.  There’s a big difference in meaning.

Eve O’Neill works as a personal finance consultant, and is a huge advocate of frugal living, believing that more fulfilling lives can be lead by being frugal. She shares her thoughts and tips online through her articles.

Health at Home: Top Tips for Identifying and Treating Spider Bites 

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Spiders are found all over the United States. While some are harmless, the bites of others like the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse can be fatal. Knowing how to identify and treat spider bites can be useful, so here is some guidance.

How to Identify a Spider Bite

Both venomous and non-venomous spiders can cause painful bites. When a spider is non-venomous, its bite rarely causes pain that lasts more than an hour. Spider bites can become red and itchy, and they may be painless, or they may be incredibly painful.

Sometimes you may not realize you have been bitten until later on. If the bite did not hurt, it may be nothing to worry about, but even so, it could still be from a dangerous spider.

You may want to check online for some photos of bites to try and identify the spider, like this Black Widow bite or this Brown Recluse bite. However, unless you are an expert, this may be difficult to do effectively.

The best way to identify the spider is to catch it, but this is only possible if you realize when you are bitten. If you can, try and kill or capture the spider, and that way you can take it to the doctor with you for identification.

Treating a Spider Bite

It’s important to treat a spider bite as soon as you notice it. Clean the site of the bite properly using soap, and then dampen a cloth and hold it over the bite. Elevate the site of the bite if you suspect it was from a venomous spider.

You do not always have to seek medical attention if you notice a bite, but if you suspect a Black Widow or a Brown Recluse bit you, seek medical attention immediately because these bites can be deadly.

If the symptoms worsen, get it checked out as soon as possible. You may experience a bad headache, vomiting, nausea, and other symptoms, and you should always get it checked out if you are concerned.

If the reaction continues to worsen after 24 hours, always seek medical attention. For example, if the redness is spreading, the pain is increasing, or you feel numbness in the area, see a doctor. Even harmless spiders can cause allergic reactions, although it is rare, so never ignore a bite.

Dealing with Spiders in the Home

Spiders are found all over the USA in homes and gardens. They are often found in sheds, basements, under furniture, and in the corners of rooms. Most spiders only bite when they feel threatened, so you are more likely to get bitten when you accidentally disturb a spider.

If you spot a dangerous spider, or numerous spiders, in or around your home, you may want to get your home treated by a specialist like Fischer Environmental Services. Expert pest control providers can rid your home of spiders and destroy any nests that may be hidden.

Take Spider Bites Seriously

While most spider bites are nothing to worry about, sometimes they can be dangerous. Do your best to identify the spider that bit you, but always seek medical care if you think it may have been one of the dangerous spiders or if the site of the bite or your symptoms worsen. Never ignore a bite, and keep a close eye on it, especially when a child or an elderly person is bitten.

Robert Kunst has extensive knowledge of the pest control industry, having been working in this field since 1974. Past president of 3 associations, today he is president of Fischer Environmental Services.

Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman of www.freedigitalphotos.net. 

Shuffle the Deck: Card Games That Keep Your Mind, Body and Soul Young

There is a lot of literature and concern regarding keeping the body fit and looking young.  However, it’s extremely important to do the same for the mind, which affects the body and keeps the soul young too.  A range of games and activities help keep the brain fit: chess, card games, crossword puzzles, etc.  However, crosswords are usually done alone and only two people can play chess.  However, card games allow for a larger number of players.

Uno

Uno requires a bit of luck and strategy.  The first player to accumulate 500 points is the winner.  Players are dealt cards and then attempt to discard them.  Cards consist of numbers and colors along with special cards such as a wildcard and a reverse card.  It requires a bit of strategy; for example, if a player has a ‘Draw Four’ card, they may want to hold onto it until they observe another player about to go out of the game.  Or, you may want to throw down a ‘Skip’ card so the person after you does not get a turn.

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Blackjack

Blackjack is a widely popular game and simple enough to quickly teach another person the basics.  The goal is to get a combination of cards to equal 21 (or as close as possible) in order to beat the dealer or other players.  It can be played with one or more traditional decks of cards.  In a casino setting, special circumstances come into play, such as doubling down on a bet or splitting the cards you have into two hands.

Gin Rummy

The objective of this game is to score points and reach a particular number of points before an opponent.  A player wants to form ‘melds’ while discarding ‘deadwood.’  Melds are sets of 3 or 4 cards of the same suit.  Deadwood cards do not fit into a present meld.  Different versions of the game, such as Hollywood Gin, can be played.  In Hollywood Gin, a second set of cards determines the ‘knock’ value of a hand.  The knock card is dealt from the bottom and turned over on the top.

Hearts

Players try to get rid of high cards without winning points.  It’s good to play the highest card without winning a trick.    The game is played with 4 players, although some games call for 3 or 6.  Along with Bridge and Spades, Hearts is a trick-taking game.  In addition to avoiding tricks, players try to avoid winning particular penalty cards.  When a passing player is trying to get rid of cards, they also try to create voids.  Hearts is among the most beloved of family card games because it is competitive and requires a number of players.

Memory

Memory can be played with a normal card deck or a special deck that features pictures rather than numbers and suits.  Basically, all of the playing cards are turned down, and players get to pick two cards at a time.  If the two chosen cards are a match, then the player gets to keep the set and the cards are taken out.  However, if two different cards are chosen, then they are both turned back over.  As the game progresses, those with great memory (who can remember where different cards are positioned), will do better at accumulating sets to eventually win.

Luca Quinn is a Mom of 3 who saves money on every purchase she can. She loves the thrill of saving money which she can then spend to treat the kids. Read her frugal, money saving articles to find out how.